Nevada Gaming Commission Bans Sex Crimes Dealers From Nevada Casinos

The Nevada Gaming Commission has banned a Las Vegas man from entering a Nevada casino because of his history of assaulting women and forcing women into prostitution at Strip resorts.

In a unanimous vote taken on Thursday, commissioners placed Kendrick Laronte Weatherspoon on the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s debarred list — the state’s so-called “black book.”

Weatherspoon became the 36th person on the list, after a 90-minute hearing. He was notified of the hearing, but neither he nor one of his representatives appeared before the commission to challenge the findings that led to the decision.

Deputy Attorney General Michael Somps said Weatherspoon met two criteria for inclusion on the list: that he had previous felony convictions in Nevada and that he “had a notorious or disreputable reputation that would damage trust. public and confidence that the gaming industry is free from criminal or corrupt developments.

Weatherspoon was the first person on the list who had no history of gambling cheating or involvement in organized crime.

Weatherspoon has 30 cases in Las Vegas court from 2000 to 2021. His criminal history in Clark County District Court began in 1996 when he pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge.

Five of the Las Vegas cases involved cocaine sales. He was charged with four impaired driving offenses in 2014 and his first violent charge, domestic battery, came to court in 2013.

In June 2021, he was charged with sex trafficking of an adult, grievous bodily harm by strangulation, sexual assault, kidnapping and burglary. A woman told police she met Weatherspoon at Casino Royale and he offered to ‘basically be your pimp’ by helping her make money as a sex worker, according to the arrest report.

She tried to quit being a sex worker by running away after Weatherspoon dropped her off at the Venetian. But he then showed up at her flat and grabbed her by the throat and strangled her before raping her, she told police.

Weatherspoon pleaded guilty to coercion and was sentenced to probation.

In 2019, he was charged with sex trafficking of an adult, domestic battery and accepting earnings from a prostitute. The case was dismissed after six months of domestic violence counseling and community service.

Testimony

Somps described Weatherspoon’s criminal past and three other witnesses testified: Todd Fasulo, vice president of security, corporate investigations and crisis management at Wynn Las Vegas; Captain Fred Haas, who leads the gang and Metro’s vice division; and James Taylor, Chief Application Officer of the Gaming Control Board.

Commissioners debated whether it was appropriate to include Weatherspoon, as there are hundreds of other criminals with long rap sheets and histories of violence. But they ultimately decided to put him on the list because he was using Las Vegas casinos as a base of operations for prostitution.

The commissioners set out to make an example of Weatherspoon in the hopes that it would deter others with a history of violent behavior.

Black Book designated persons, when reported by casino staff, may be arrested and imprisoned for a serious offense.

“I’m not advocating that every person who engages in this behavior be put on the Black Book,” Fasulo said during the hearing. “I only defend those who continually show a history of violence and commit their crimes through the casino industry.”

Commissioner Steven Cohen said he felt it was time to do something about human trafficking.

“It’s a horrible, horrible record,” Cohen said. “This is a terrible scourge on the state of Nevada and something has to be done. We need the help of the courts, the metro and the resorts.

Regulators said they expect other felons with violent histories will likely be named to the list in the coming years. But Taylor said one of the goals of Black Book is to highlight “the worst of the worst” that will be recognizable to the public.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Aurora J. William